Email from me to client:
You need to schedule some work with us soon. Do you still want to go ahead with it?
Also, please send me your postal address so that I can invoice you for the work we did for you recently.
Email from client to me:
I think we want to go ahead with the work, but I'll need to confirm with my boss. Can you let me know costs?
Email from me to client:
Certainly, please find this year's price list attached.
In the meantime, can you please send me your postal address?
Email from client to me:
Thudding noise as I bang my head on the desk, repeatedly.
Email from me to client:
Can I have your postal address please?
I think he thought if he ignored the question I'd stop asking it.
Girls, A User Guide
Appearing all this week at Uborka.
Photo Friday: Junk
It's a beautiful spring day.
The sun is shining, white fluffy clouds are being chased across the sky by a light breeze.
I have a day off work.
What could be more perfect?
If I could be outside, that's what.
Instead of enjoying this perfect spring day, I'm inside, with all the blinds drawn down and wearing sunglasses. The brightness is turned way down on my monitor, and I'm squinting a little to focus, just so that I can write this.
Because I'm so very, very bored.
Why am I bored?
This morning, I had a hospital appointment at the Ophthalmology Department, to be tested to see if I had Glaucoma.
You see, about six weeks ago, I went for an eye test at my local optician, and during the test, he tested the pressure in my eyes, and found that it was higher than the normal. Significantly higher.
He looked taken aback, and repeated the test. A couple more times, just to make sure. Then he said I had to go and see my GP, who would then refer me to an Ophthalmologist.
Now, up until that point, I didn't know that you could have high pressure in your eyes, or what effects that might have.
I now know that high pressure can damage the optic nerve, and the earlier it's detected, the easier it is to reduce the likelihood of any further damage being done.
So I went to my GP, and she referred me to the hospital. A week ago I got the notification of the appointment, and this morning I went.
For once, my mother actually gave me good advice and told me to take my sunglasses. I'm so glad I did.
I got there, and had a brief eye test, after which, a nurse put two sets of eye drops in my eyes. These are designed to dilate the pupil so that it's easier to see the back of the eye and check for any damage to the optic nerve.
It took about 10 minutes before my vision started to blur, and I had to put on the sunglasses because everything was suddenly that much brighter.
I suffered through the eye test, and was much relieved to receive a clean bill of health for my eyes. D, who had come with me to make sure I could get back to the flat ok, was fascinated by a closer view of my eyes than he's ever seen before, as what the Ophthalmologist was seeing was shown on a TV screen next to me.
Coming out of that hospital into the bright sunlight is one of the more painful things I've ever encountered. Even with sunglasses on, it was far too bright.
My pupils have started to contract a bit now, but light is still causing me a fair bit of pain.
For all my grumbling, I'm glad I went, I'm glad I had the test, and I'm glad that my eyes are ok.
If it wasn't that I work in a place where they make sure that you get a regular workstation assessment, and make sure that you get a regular eye test, I wouldn't have gone to the optician in the first place, and I wouldn't have known there might have been a problem.
Glaucoma, although rare in people under 40 is a sneaky thing. It's usually painless and has no symptoms, and little by little, your optic nerve is damaged and your visual field is reduced, and typically, by the time it's detected, 75% of the damage has already been done. Damage that cannot be repaired.
If you use a computer for a large part of your day, you should get an eye test every two years. Yes, it costs money, but you can go to your employer and ask them to pay for it - either with an eye care voucher or by reimbursing your expenses.
If you don't, go anyway, it's only £15ish, and while it might not seem worth the time or money, it could make the difference to your sight.
Although having a serious sight problem or losing your sight isn't the life-destroying disaster it once was - there are many, many ways to deal with sight loss, and it's possibly to live a happy and healthy life - it can sometimes be avoided, and surely it's worth £15 every couple of years, just to make sure?
I know it's boring, but if you haven't had an eye test for a couple of years (or longer) do yourself a favour and go get one.
This public service announcement has been brought to you by someone who usually ignores health issues, in the hope that they'll go away.
Compulsive Drawer Organisers Anonymous
Me: "Hello, my name is pix, and I'm a compulsive drawer organiser."
All: "Hi Pix!"
Me: "It's been two days since I last reorgnised my drawer"
Me: "In my middle desk drawer at work I have:
7 napkins, folded in half
A jar of ground black pepper
A squeezy bottle of Hellman's Dijonnaise
Two small hollow chocolate eggs, left over from Easter.
5/6ths of a bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk Bubbly
A tube of Body Shop Hawthorn hand cream (used twice in the last year - by other people)
A tub of Boots Chewable Vitamin E (6 left)
A tub of Boots Vitamin B complex (13 left)
A bottle of Safeway aromatherapy Body Spritzer in "Awaken" (with orange & grapefruit oils)
A bottle of Body Shop Lemongrass Deodorising Foot Spray
A bottle of Body Shop Oceanus Body Mist (part of gift set, unused)
A Body Shop manicure kit in a small clear plastic box (part of gift set, unused)
Two sachets of Alka Seltzer XS
Two tubes of lipsalve
A tube of Formule B spot zapping stuff
A packet of smint mints
A roll of micropore tape
A packet of antiseptic wipes
A roll of gauze
A packet of plasters
A packet of paracetamol capsules
5 metallic ink pens
A pad of black paper
A packet of matching black envelopes
A packet of BluTack
A packet of sugar free strepsils
An audio book of The Poet by Michael Connolly (an unsent present for my mum)
Two packets of post-it page markers
A tub of feta cheese and olive salad
A small packet of KP salted peanuts
Each and every item has it's own particular place, and is very carefully nestled so that there is a minimum of disarray created when opening and closing the door.
But still, I feel the need to reorganise this drawer every time I add or remove an item.
I think I need help."
All: "That's ok, you've come to the right place. There is a 12 step program available, and if you follow it, you too will be able to achieve a normal level of organisation".
Me: "Thank you so much"
Inspired by Pete.
Photo Friday: Self Portrait
It's not exactly a secret that I want to be a professional photographer, and in wanting to be a professional photographer, that to me means that I need to be able to take all kinds of pictures, of all kinds of subjects.
Those subjects include people.
Now, the thing is, I hate having my photograph taken. I'm not comfortable in front of a camera and most times, wind up absolutely hating the result.
I figure I'm not alone in this.
So when I got my first digital camera, I made up my mind that I would, every so often, try and push away at my inherent discomfort in front of the camera, and try to relax with it, and in the process, learn a bit about how to make people feel comfortable in front of my camera, and how to make them look good too... because being the vain fusspot that I am, I figure if I can produce a shot of myself that I don't mind showing off to people, then there's a fair chance that I might be able to produce shots that other people don't mind showing off.
All of which is a very long winded explanation as to why I take self portraits.
On Monday morning, I decided to have another go at taking some self portraits, trying to once more push the limits of what I was previously comfortable with, and managed to get what I consider some fairly good shots. One of these you can see at the top right, because I liked it enough to incorporate it into the design of this blog.
One of them, I'm presenting here, because when I woke up this morning I got the email letting me know that this week's Photo Friday Theme is Self Portrait... and so, although I hadn't ever considered posting this here, I've decided that I will.
Because it's a self portrait.
Because it's a self portrait that I don't entirely hate, in fact, I'm quite proud of this one, and the fact that I was both able to take it without tensing up entirely, and that I've got to a stage where I feel comfortable posting this here.
And so, a small warning, so you can't say I didn't warn you.
Warning: this picture contains skin. If you are offended by skin, don't click.
This design shall henceforth be known as "the narcissistic one" and shall be here until I get embarrassed about it and take it down, or replace the photo with something that's not me.
Usual caveats apply - if anything is totally borked in your browser, please let me know. Ta much.
Please excuse any oddness (well, more than usual) around here today, I be redecorating and ran out of lunchtime.
What I did on my Long Weekend
(all timings are approximate)
Thursday 7pm: Fell asleep.
Thursday 9pm: Woke up. Went and got a drink. Talked to my mum for a bit.
Thursday 10pm: Went back to bed.
Friday 8 am: Woke up.
Friday 10 am: Went to Waitrose.
Friday 12 noon: Cleaned the flat.
Friday 3pm: Went to shops to get things I'd forgotten earlier.
Friday 4pm: Realised I'd still managed to forget things.
Friday 5pm: Wondered how to conjure up 8 chairs.
Friday 7pm: Chair problem sorted. Started cooking (and by cooking, read, heat pasta and sauce and combine)
Saturday 1am: Sleep.
Saturday 10am: Mumble incoherently. Made breakfast.
Saturday 12 noon: Said farewell to our house-guests.
Saturday afternoon: pottered around.
Saturday 8.30pm: Wondered why the lobby of the cinema was heaving with more people than we'd ever seen there.
Saturday 8.31pm: Heard announcement for that Mel Gibson film.
Saturday 8.35pm: Sat down to watch huge amount of adverts and trailers.
Saturday 9pm: Finally, Shaun of the Dead starts.
Saturday 10.30pm: Giggle on way home.
Saturday midnight: Sleep.
Sunday morning: Wake up.
Sunday lunchtime: Wander to shops to get food that is not pasta.
Sunday lunchtime +5minutes: Shops shut.
Sunday lunch: pasta.
Sunday dinner: pasta.
Sunday late: Sleep.
Monday morning: Wake up.
Monday lunchtime: Wander to shops to get food that is not pasta.
Monday lunchtime +20 minutes: Success.
Monday lunch: not pasta!
Monday dinner: lovely meal cooked by lovely friends and eaten in lovely flat in lovely area of London. Lots of lovely red wine consumed.
Tuesday 1.30am: Sleep.
Tuesday 6.40am: Groan.
Tuesday 7.50am: Finally get out of bed.
Tuesday 8.10am: Leave flat.
Tuesday 9am: Work.
This is the Night Bus crossing the boroughs,
Carrying the drunken office worker,
Leaving Notting Hill, passing Marble Arch,
Selfridges corner, Bond Street and more.
Pulling up sharply, bell not rung in time:
The driver's uncaring, he's running to time.
Past sale display and gaudy hoarding
Trundling onward over the litter,
Rumbling noisily as she passes
Silent scores of homeless persons.
They turn their heads as she approaches,
Stare from the bus stops at her yellow signage.
Waved hands cannot turn her course;
She lumbers on, not opening doors.
In the flats she passes no one wakes,
But a drunk on the corner gently shakes.
Dawn freshens, the night almost gone.
Down towards Kings Cross she descends
Towards the Thameslink, turning to head up York Way,
Towards the fields of apparatus, the gas holders
Lit against the dark sky like gigantic chessmen.
A garage waits for her:
In the back seat, beside the greasy window
I long for sleep.
Yawning I stare at Tufnell Park
Tiredness too much to respond and be coy,
Receiving mumbled invitations
To inspect his cock or indulge in relations,
and myriad other supplications
Audacious lover's declarations
And yes, he nearly wears through my patience,
Babbling inanity, nothing substantial
Losing his interest when he can't engage me.
Back to my book, I stare at the margin,
Letters dance on the pages like ants,
Leaving their comprehension to chance,
Irritated, I place the book back in my bag
Rubbing my eyes to more clearly see
Rushing past lights of every hue,
The pink, the violet, the white and the blue,
The cheesy, the classy, the boring, the broken,
The cold and official and the warm welcoming,
Flickering on then flickering off,
The driver is restless; our journey is done.
Thousands are still asleep
Dreaming of terrifying monsters,
Or of friendly drinks inside a bar in Angel or Soho:
Asleep in rugged Camden, asleep in well-set Finsbury Park,
Asleep in gloomy Holloway,
They continue their dreams,
And shall wake soon and long for weekends,
And none did hear my key in the lock
With a quickening of the heart,
For who can bear to wake me next morning?
(with profuse apologies to WH Auden)